Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Thurs. Oct. 27, 2005: Come November 1, Jamaicans, Costa Ricans, El Salvadorians and Guatemalans seeking to enter the Cayman Islands must present a valid visa.
The Cayman Islands Government yesterday announced the new requirement for residents of the four countries in a move clearly aimed at tightening its immigration policies.
George McCarthy, the islands Chief Secretary, focusing on the new rule for Jamaicans said, said there has been a significant increase in the number of Jamaican nationals being refused entry on the basis that they are not genuine visitors.
McCarthy said large numbers of Jamaicans arrive as visitors and then abscond to work illegally. He said there are currently some 1,500 Jamaican nationals who have overstayed their visitor’s permit.
The government official also added that, “There is worrying evidence to suggest that nationals from some of these countries may be involved in gang-related activities.”
Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson added that many of the “non-genuine” visitors arriving from Jamaica and Costa Rica, in particular, arrive with insufficient funds to support themselves whilst in the Cayman Islands, and have no pre-arranged accommodations and work permits.
Since January 2005, 354 Jamaican nationals have been refused entry at Cayman’s ports, Manderson said, compared to 77 from all other nationalities. Additionally, one in seven Costa Ricans have been refused entry.
To implement this new visa requirement, the government will establish a Cayman Islands Visa Office in Kingston. Nationals of that country who do not live in Jamaica should make applications to the nearest British High Commission or embassy. In the case of the other countries, nationals should contact their respective British consular offices.
No decisions will be taken at the Cayman Islands Visa Office in Kingston or other embassies involved in receiving applications but all completed applications and supporting documentation will be forwarded to the Department of Immigration in Grand Cayman for determination.
A non-refundable fee of US$102.40 will be required per application.
Nationals from some 112 other countries presently also are required to possess a visa to enter the British-dependent territory. Citizens of the United Kingdom, the United States or Canada are among those exempt from this requirement. – Hardbeatnews.com